I attended the Maker Faire this past weekend in New York City. The weather was great and it seemed to be pretty packed. This was my third NYC Maker Faire. I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed by what I saw. Maybe I’ve set the bar too high.
There did seem to be a dwindling number of 3D printer vendors and the Maker Electronics section wasn’t as robust as in the past. Also, I expected much more activity in the Drone Zone. I was impressed with the Drone Raceway, but other than that, there wasn’t much going on drone-related.
One of the highlights for me was the introduction of the latest Beagleboard, the PocketBeagle, which sells for just $25. This was a significant achievement for the Beagle folks, finally hitting that $25 price point. One place where this becomes really important is in the education space. Now, for an investment in the $500 range, you can outfit a whole classroom.
The PocketBeagle is based on Octavo’s OSD3358-SM system in a package. The module includes a 1-GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, 512 Mbytes of DDR3 RAM, and 72 expansion pin headers with power and battery I/Os, high-speed USB, eight analog inputs, 44 digital I/Os, and a bunch of digital interface peripherals. Because the main memory was removed (to help reach the lower price point) microSD connectors were added. ,
The PocketBeagle can be programmed using National Instruments’ Labview or The Mathworks’ Simulink. In many (most?) cases, these are tools that developers are already familiar with. And the boards can be purchased from Arrow, Digi-Key, or Mouser.
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